There are concerns across the country about the variants of COVID-19 starting to spread, including one from Brazil that was first reported in Maryland Wednesday night. In a press briefing Thursday afternoon, leading experts from Johns Hopkins issued a warning that even though coronavirus cases are falling nationwide and in Maryland, the coronavirus variants could soon cause a spike in cases.
- The Independent
Tucker Carlson calls QAnon supporters ‘gentle’ patriots a week after suggesting the conspiracy didn’t exist
‘Do you ever notice how all the scary internet conspiracy theorists – the radical QAnon people ... they’re all kind of gentle people now waving American flags?’
Markle said she wasn't allowed to accept an interview request from Oprah when she was first approached before her wedding three years ago.
- Business Insider
Sinema appeared to curtsy as she gave her thumbs-down to the Senate clerk, prompting some progressives to condemn her for appearing enthusiastic.
- The Independent
Activist group says Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley ‘deserve most blame for firing up violent mob of Trump supporters that attacked US Capitol and killed five people’
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Saturday, in a bid to push forward peace talks with the Taliban, that his government was ready to discuss holding fresh elections, insisting that any new government should emerge through the democratic process. "Transfer of power through elections is a non-negotiable principle for us," Ghani told lawmakers at the opening of parliament session in Kabul. President Ghani met U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad in Kabul during the past week to discuss ways to inject momentum in the stalled peace negotiations with Taliban representatives being held in Qatar.
'Lesson fully received': An 18-year-old charged in the Capitol riot says he was 'wrong' and begged a judge to release him
A Georgia teenager who boasted on Instagram about storming the Capitol in January begged a federal judge to release him ahead of his trial.
President Biden said Saturday that the Senate passage of his $1.9 trillion COVID relief package means the $1,400 direct payments for most Americans can begin going out later this month. Driving the news: The Senate voted 50-49 Saturday to approve the sweeping legislation. The House is expected to pass the Senate's version of the bill next week before it heads to Biden's desk for his signature.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeThe big picture: As part of the legislation, individuals who make less than $75,000 or heads of households who make up to $112,500 will qualify for the $1,400 payments. Couples who make less than $150,000 will get $2,800.Individuals who make between $75,000 and $80,000 and couples who earn between $150,000 and $160,000 will receive a reduced payment.Parents who qualify will get an additional $1,400 for every child claimed on their most recent tax returns.What he's saying: "Everything that is in this package is designed to relieve the suffering and meet the most urgent needs of the nation and put us in a better position to prevail," Biden said following the Saturday passage of the bill. "This plan will get checks out the door, starting this month to the American people who so desperately need the help," he added. "The resources in this plan will be used to expand and speed up manufacturing and distribution of vaccines so we can get every single American vaccinated sooner rather than later.""I promised the American people that help is on the way. Today, I can say we've taken one more giant step forward in delivering on that promise." The bottom line: "This plan puts us on a path to beating the virus. This plan gives those families who are struggling the most the help and breathing room to get through this moment. This plan gives small businesses in this country a fighting chance to survive," Biden said. More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
A Missouri pastor is reportedly seeking 'professional counseling' after he told women to lose weight and strive to be like Melania Trump for their husbands
Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark of Missouri's Malden First General Baptist Church gushed over an "epic trophy wife" and warned, "don't let yourself go."
Former NBA star Deron Williams says he tried to recruit star players to the Jazz but no one wanted to play in Utah
Deron Williams said he knew he needed help to make the Jazz contenders, but he couldn't find other stars that wanted to join him in Utah.
Past US presidents have left a legacy of untruths ranging from the bizarre to the horrifying.
- The Telegraph
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex 'called all the PR shots', say royal sources despite Oprah interview claims she was gagged
The Duchess of Sussex “called all the shots” when it came to managing her own media, royal sources have said, casting doubt on her claim she could not be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey three years ago. Multiple royal sources have told The Telegraph the 39-year-old former actress “had full control” over her media interviews and had personally forged relationships not only with Ms Winfrey, but other powerful industry figures including Vogue editor Edward Enninful. In a teaser clip released from the Sussexes’s interview with the US chat show host, due to be aired in the US on Sunday, the Duchess said it felt “liberating” to be able to speak and accused the Royal family of effectively gagging her and taking away that choice. “It’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say yes, I’m ready to talk, to be able to make a choice on your own and be able to speak for yourself,” the Duchess said. In the clip, the Duchess and Ms Winfrey reference the fact that a royal aide was listening in to their first phone call in February 2018, although it is understood the pair had spoken privately before then.
- Reuters Videos
The Chinese government on Friday defied expectations by doing something that's normally routine: setting a target for the economy.Beijing chose not to do so last year in the midst of 2020 uncertainty.Chinese Premier Li Keqiang laid out the nation's ambitions for its GDP at Beijing's yearly session of parliament."The main expected goals for development this year are GDP growth of more than 6%, urban surveyed unemployment rate of about 5.5%, consumer price index (CPI) at about 3%."The GDP growth target of 6% was seen as modest by analysts - who had predicted China's growth this year could soar to 8%.Last year China grew by just a little over 2%, its weakest in more than 40 years. However it was the only major economy to grow at all in 2020."China's development this year still faces many risks and challenges, but the fundamentals of the long-term economic improvement have not changed."Li also pledged to boost employment, pledging to create 11 million jobs.
Even with all the compromises—and the agita on the left—the Covid relief bill may be just what the Democrats needed to deliver.
Kim Kardashian will reportedly stay in family's $60 million mansion as part of divorce from Kanye West
Kim Kardashian West will stay in the minimalist, beige-filled Hidden Hills, California, home she and Kanye West bought in 2014, TMZ reported.
The "Leaving Las Vegas" star fittingly tied the knot in the marriage capital of the world last month.
A Texas middle school student said he was forced to drink urine by teammates at a sleepover. His mom called the bullying racially motivated.
Summer Smith, SeMarion Humphrey's mom, says she has reported multiple incidents of her son being abused by other students for months, CBS 21 reported.
- Business Insider
MSNBC host and former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough says there's 'no doubt' that the GOP is 'unsavable'
"You know, my friends and my family members, they all voted for him, and it's been hard for me to process it," Scarborough said of support for Trump.
Miley Cyrus said playing her alter ego Hannah Montana on her hit Disney show led to an 'identity crisis'
Miley Cyrus appeared on the "Rock This with Allison Hagendorf" podcast on Friday and spoke about her hit TV show where she starred as Hannah Montana.
A Texas high school removed an assignment on chivalry where female students were directed to cater to men like in medieval times
A list of tasks showed female students were asked to "dress in a feminine manner to please the men" and lower their heads when curtsying for men.
- Raleigh News and Observer
North Carolina’s 91-73 win was its biggest over Duke at the Smith Center since 1998.